Can You Be A Poor Husband & Great Dad? D.L. Hughley Talks Infidelity And Son’s Asperger’s Syndrome
I think Diddy, Sean “Puffy” Combs– so there won’t be any confusion among generations, was the first man I heard say something to the affect of knowing he could be a good father, yet being unsure of his ability to be a good husband.
It’s a concept with which I’ve continued to struggle. In my mind, you do the best by your children when they see the love and devotion you have for their mother. (Not to say that always has to be in the context of a marriage.)
Watching recent clips from OWN’s “Where Are They Now,” helped me to see that more clearly in the thoughts expressed by comedian and radio host D.L. Hughley.
On the one hand, Hughley talks about his numerous affairs throughout the course of his almost 30-year marriage to his wife LaDonna. If you’ve followed Hughley’s career in any way, you know that this is not the first time he’s opened up about this. In fact, in 2012, he told the whole world about his philandering ways.
But in this OWN interview, he mentions it again.
“I just thought it was just part of being a man. I never thought it was a horrible thing to be or to do. I never felt like it was anything I was doing wrong. I think monogamy is what you give your woman so she don’t leave. Honestly, what I attribute us being married that long is her ability to love me in spite of who I am.”
And he continues.
“Being public about my infidelity, obviously is hurt. Listen, I don’t know that men have a moment–I will say for me, I’ve never had an epiphany — I think you just get exhausted. I don’t know if you ever rehabilitate. You just run out of wind. You get tired of hurting people. I think a man can love a woman and still have other women. Everybody you read about in the Bible– you know Solomon 900 wives, David, several wives and concubines, Job– you know?
But when you see how the pain registers on somebody’s face. Then you might… I just…I think, more than anything else, I felt entitled. I felt like that my whole life. I don’t think that [monogamy] is a natural condition… at all.”
Then Hughley started speaking for others.
“The idea of a man that women claim to want. ‘Oh, he’s faithful, he’s dutiful and he’s honest’— does not exist. That dude is in a movie or a book . What you got is me and cats like me. And if you got the dude that you purport to want, he would bore you to death. And the one thing you can never do with a woman is bore her.”
Hughley is no stranger to making wildly misogynistic remarks about mostly Black women and relationships. So I can’t say I’m surprised. Yet, what I find most troubling about his views are the fact that initially he’s talking about himself; but then he starts talking about all men and then, at the very end, he takes a gigantic leap to profess to know what women, want.
Hughley, who has openly admitted to not liking or understanding women, now knows what we want. He says that we couldn’t possibly want a man who is dutiful, honest and faithful because that man would certainly bore us to tears. And women don’t like to be bored.
First, and perhaps most simply, who likes to be bored? I don’t think women have a monopoly on wanting to be stimulated. Furthermore, when did being honest and faithful become synonymous with being boring?! While I know there are some couples who live for all types of relationship drama, a great number of people simply don’t.
Secondly, and lastly–because I’m tired–, it would just be best if Hughley spoke about his own dysfunction and left the rest of us out of it. Please.
But there are complexities to this thing called humanity; and perhaps, even a bit of truth to Diddy’s statements about being a better father than he would be husband. During that same interview, Hughley spoke about his son Kyle dealing with Asperger’s syndrome and an accomplishment he recently made. And though I listened to his thoughts on monogamy first, I have to admit my heart softened when I saw the love he undoubtedly has for his son.
“He graduated from college but everything has to be the same. He goes to work at the same time, he eats the same thing. So three weeks ago, I had to get gas and he says ‘Daddy, I’ll do it.’ And I’m a nervous wreck.
And he comes back in and gives me the receipt and the keys… And I could not stop crying because he did something he was afraid to do. I just didn’t believe he could do it, he did it…And I held him and I said, ‘You’re going to be all right.’ And I think sometimes I don’t know, for sure. But he’s going to be fine. He’ll be fine.”
I think what I have to say about the duality of D.L. Hughley, and all of us really, can be summed up in this quote from a very wise, seemingly young man who was recently photographed for the popular photo blog, Humans of New York:
“I can’t stand moral absolutism. You know, there’s always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife– as if he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree, and then inform you that Hitler said it. As if a good thought couldn’t come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It’s easy to say: ‘Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.’ That’s simple. It’s much harder to say: ‘Is that humanity? Is that me?'”